It pains me to say this, but dammit, The Church of Rock and Roll is a bad album. Regardless, Foxy Shazam remains one of the best live bands you could spend your
drug money on. Believe me – seeing Foxy Shazam live is an experience. Having seen Eric Sean Nally and his modest group of misfits four times now, there’s no comparison, at least in terms of these young breed of newbies. Yes, The Flamingo Trigger came out in 2005, but slowly, surely, steadily, Foxy has been breaking out to the mainstream getting poppier…and more shockingly…safer than ever before. What happened to the band that had so much attitude and edge? The dude eats packs of cigarettes on stage! I’m abusing my powers of bolding, but dammit, that’s impressive!
The new disc just doesn’t gel. The first couple cuts, including “Welcome to the Church of Rock and Roll,” “Holy Touch,” and “(It’s) Too Late Baby” are a nice homage to Queen and other classic sounds, but lack in unique spin. “Last Chance at Love” sounds like a shitty Rick Springfield B-Side (and God knows how much I love “Jessie’s Girl” and “Love is Alright Tonight”).
The strongest of the bunch include the aforementioned “Holy Touch” and lead single “I Like It” (“That’s the biggest black ass I’ve ever seen, and I LIKE IT! I LIKE IT!” – quite enjoyable to chant along to). It’s catchy and retains the band’s swagger. I…well, like it. “The Temple,” track 9 on the record, finally displays the seething, heavy riffs older fans are likely anticipating. It’s also got a sweet ass trumpet solo by Alex Nauth. After “The Temple” concludes with Nally’s spoken word monologue (“Wait, fuck you, I’m the king,”) you might as well save yourself any further time and frustration and head back to 2008′s Introducing Foxy Shazam.
It’s not the mainstream element or Pop sounds that throw me, it’s the lack of originality. Well, that and the songwriting isn’t as strong. Something is just off in this Foxy world, and despite the better tracks’ strengths, they still don’t hold a candle to “A Dangerous Man,” “Wanna-be Angel,” or “NO! Don’t shoot.”
Despite this blasé report, Foxy is still a band to keep both eyes on. But next time around, I hope they spare us these weak and disheartening sermons from the pulpit and instead, focus on being the fucking weirdos we fell in love with before.